18-year-old marks birthday by collecting trash for 23 days

Hazmi Nabil decided to mark his 18th birthday by sprucing up the Klang Valley. (Hazmi pic)

PETALING JAYA: Turning 18 is considered a big deal around the world. It marks one’s transition into adulthood and in Malaysia now, turning 18 means you’re eligible to vote.

But you can forget that big, celebratory birthday bash, what with the threat of Covid-19 still very real and restrictions aplenty still in place.

However, instead of wallowing in self-pity, Hazmi Nabil decided to use his 18th birthday as an occasion to give back to Mother Nature by pledging to pick up rubbish around the Klang Valley for 23 days.

Why specifically 23 days? “The number 23 is significant to me simply because my birthday is on May 23,” Hazmi explains.

Hazmi who currently resides in Bangi, was originally handling sports events before his business took a hit because of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, leaving him with lots of time on his hands and a lot to think about.

Hazmi has decided that the best way to celebrate turning 18 is by cleaning up the Klang Valley for 23 days straight. (Hazmi pic)

This environmentally conscious Malaysian told FMT it saddened him that many people unscrupulously flung rubbish all over the place despite the many dustbins that are provided for.

But this bad habit, rather than leave him totally discouraged, inspired him instead to begin an initiative to spruce-up areas in the Klang Valley by collecting the litter himself.

In just five days, Hazmi collected a staggering nine bags of trash and all within the area of Bangi alone.

Hazmi with two whole bags of trash. (Hazmi pic)

He is targeting Kajang and Balakong next.

“If I’m cleaning in urban neighbourhoods, I tend to find more cigarette butts and unused boxes. I also tend to find more plastic bottles strewn by the roadside.”

According to his daily Twitter updates, half of the garbage collection on his second day consisted of burnt firecrackers.

Cleaning up the Klang Valley has been quite a surprising “treasure hunt”, says Hazmi, who discovered three handphones along with loads of other trash.

“I tried switching them on but they don’t work. Someone told me they were probably burner phones.”

Hazmi found three handphones during his clean up. (Hazmi pic)

Originally from Langkawi, Hazmi says he hopes his clean-up initiative will encourage fellow Malaysians to be more responsible about how they dispose of trash.

His efforts might not be in vain after all, as Hazmi’s selfless act quickly went viral on Twitter with many social media users praising him and thanking him for making the Klang Valley a cleaner place.

“The last thing I expected was for my initiative to go viral but this makes me very happy because I hope what I am doing will continue to inspire other Malaysian youth to take care of Mother Nature,” Hazmi said.

He said that he would carry out his daily clean-ups until June 15 when his 23-day pledge comes to an end, and will continue to post updates every day on his Twitter page. Good job Hazmi! Everyone can learn a little something from you.

Hazmi hopes his efforts will inspire other Malaysians to stop being litterbugs. (Hazmi pic)